Citizenship, Finally, for Army Veteran, Federal Employee

"Nearly 50 years after he arrived here from Cuba, Mario Hernandez, a former federal employee and an Army veteran who for decades thought he was a United States citizen, and was never told otherwise, finally became one on Wednesday.  At a field office in Jacksonville, Fla., Mr. Hernandez, 58, with his wife and lawyer present, clutched his naturalization document after being sworn in as an American.  “I feel like jumping and hollering,” he said.  “I was given an opportunity almost 50 years ago, and today I have almost the same feeling. I feel vindicated.”  In March, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services denied his case, even though Mr. Hernandez was entitled to citizenship because he had served during the Vietnam War era.  In a statement, Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the immigration agency, said it apologized for handling Mr. Hernandez’s application as a regular naturalization case rather than a military one."  - Lizette Alvarez, NYT, May 22, 2014.